Every since I was little my family has taken an interest in travel. It started when I was in preschool, and my family decided to take a trip in an RV and drive across the western part of Canada. I remember seeing moose and being able to stare out the window at the vast countryside passing by. Our next big trip was to Australia where I was able to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, play with orphan kangaroos, and hold a koala. I learned so much about the different cultures and how people live in other countries that I knew travel would always be a part of my life.
Studying abroad was always on my plan for college. I have a passion for horses, so why not combine horses and travel? After my junior year of college I was privileged enough to travel to Scotland through a study abroad program. In my program we were able to ride horses three times a week and take an equine anatomy and physiology class as well as an equine fitness course. We had classes during the week, and then the weekends were ours to go out and explore. We traveled to Edinburgh and saw the castle and King Arthur’s Seat. One weekend we were able to travel out to Loch Ness to try and find that elusive monster. It is a great way to connect with students from all over the country and meet new people.
After my first year of veterinary school I was able to travel to South Africa to work with the wildlife there. This was by far one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. We would have class some days and others we would be out in the field. Our classroom time consisted of us learning about the different drugs used on animals, how to safely capture, and different disease that the animals could have. These days in the classroom were fine but the real fun was out in the field. We worked with a wildlife veterinarian in South Africa, who planned excursions for us to partake in. One day consisted of darting and relocating 23 gemsbok. We were able to work with rhino, cheetah, and giraffe. Getting to put my hands on these animals is something that I will never forget.
Traveling not only opens up new places for you to explore, but it also opens up something inside yourself. Traveling allows you to be pushed outside of your comfort zone where you can learn about yourself. I encourage everyone to give it a try!